Second Stimulis Bill Might Add $1 Trillion to Current Spending Measures

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Apr 7, 2020
The next round of fiscal stimulus measures might include $1 trillion, on top of the $2 trillion that has already been appropriated through the CARES Act, which was signed into law just weeks ago, according to Bloomberg. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said that the proposed legislation's main aim will be to boost relief even further, with more direct payments to individuals, more unemployment insurance subsidies, more food stamp aid and more funding for the small business Payroll Protection Plan. There has also been talk of extending further aid to state and local governments, particularly for towns of fewer than 500,000 people. The White House expressed support, in principle, for certain measures called for, particularly more direct payments and more funding for small business loans, although it added that it would like to see infrastructure spending as well.

Though the House does not meet again until April 20, Pelosi said she would like to have the bill passed before the end of the month. According to CNBC, Senate Republicans said they plan to pass additional small business aid before the end of this week, although they did not appear to specify whether this would be as part of the overall relief measure being pondered or as a separate measure.

The news comes as the rollout of the CARES Act provisions hit stumbling blocks in many areas, according to CNN. For example, under the weight of so many seeking access to the new small business loans, the Small Business Administration's website crashed yesterday. Meanwhile, spiking demand for these loans has driven droves of aspiring borrowers to the banks meant to give them out, but financial institutions themselves seem hesitant to go all in on the program. Wells Fargo for instance intended to give out only $10 billion worth of these loans, a threshold it reached almost instantly. Other banks are accepting applications only from customers with whom they already have a relationship, in response to overwhelming demand. This has led business owners to become increasingly frustrated with this program, as they contend with Kafkaesque application procedures, if they can apply at all.

Further, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that the relief measures might have paradoxically encourages some companies to lay off even more people. Employers are apparently citing the direct payment and unemployment insurance measures in the CARES Act as reasons to cut payroll: Since certain workers will ostensibly receive even more money through unemployment than they would working, owners think that this is a good way to reduce labor costs without feeling as if they are abandoning their workers to a cruel fate. But many laid off works are finding it difficult to access unemployment, given numerous site crashes lately. Beyond that, CNBC has reported that even those who can apply are experiencing confusion and delays, as state governments try to adjust their systems to accommodate those who previously had never been eligible, especially gig and freelance workers.

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